by Borderstan.com June 20, 2013 at 10:30 am 0

"Bourbon"

Come out and enjoy the Bourbon Bash this Saturday. (Luis Gomez Photos)

If you enjoyed The Whiskey Walk and the Margarita March you should be a part of the first annual Bourbon Bash. It will happening this Saturday June 22. So get ready to enjoy the popular Kentucky spirit as it will be found at eight local bars. A portion of ticket sales will benefit Lead The Way Fund, a non-profit organization that supports active duty, disabled and deceased U.S. Army Rangers and their families.

Tickets are $55 a person and can be bought online. Participating in this event are local favorites Board Room, Buffallo Billiards, Front Page, Maddy’s Bar & Grille, James Hoban’s, MadHatter and Science Club.

The Bourbon Bash gets participants into a Kentucky spirit with a bluegrass band and specials on beers, food pairings and the featured bourbons; the bourbon tasting notes can be found here. The crowd will begin their day by checking in from noon to 3 pm at James Hoban’s or Buffalo Billiards, and then proceed in whatever order they choose during this unique all-day tasting tour. The guests can enjoy their bourbons neat, on the rocks or with a soda mixer.

Participants are also entitled to special prices on (a) the bourbon each bar is featuring, (b) a beer pairing at $3 to $4, and (c) a food pairing at $4 to $7 hand-selected by each venue’s executive chef.

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by Borderstan.com January 29, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Lauren Levine. Email her at lauren[AT]borderstan.com

"Young Professional"

The perfect host! (Google Maps)

Isn’t it peculiar how this city is practically dominated by young professionals (and over-pampered dogs) and yet there’s no one making fun of our strange and highly predictable ways? Well move aside, baby boomers, foreign diplomats and anyone with a mortgage (ages 30 to 55).

Generation Y is here to stay in the District and boy do we have problems.

If you’re a young professional living in the District, and especially one living in Borderstan, like me, you are probably a perpetual host.

But, if you’re also like me, having a visitor is quite a double edged sword. You’re excited to see them but exhausted at the thought of entertaining them for a few days. Parents may visit you every six to 12 months, and assuming you’re an underpaid, low-level staffer or, worse yet, an intern, you can’t go wrong with nice restaurants and non-Smithsonian museums (Newseum? $20? Ugh).

A Friend in Town?

Having a friend in town, though? That’s a completely different story. Whether or not you care to admit it, you’re in it to impress them with your awesome post-college lifestyle. I recommend:

  • The ultimate mall tour – we both know that you can’t afford a $50 hop on, hop off bus tour, let alone a $75 segway tour. So I recommend lacing up your sneakers and doing Lauren’s ultimate walking tour: a full day of bonding while being an excellent tour guide. Plus the walking will make you feel less guilty about the eating and drinking!
  • The nightlife – Most importantly, with a friend visiting, you have to show them a good time. You don’t want your visitor to think you have anything but the most vibrant social life. To show off your 15 to 25 friends all in one venue, I recommend American Ice Company (“look how hipster and trendy I am now!”), Buffalo Billiards (“Hail to the Redskins! I think that’s what all the locals say…”) or Lost Society (“Don’t you just love how DC has rooftop bars?”).
  • Late night eating – I’m both ashamed and proud to admit that my friends usually remember this best. Whether it’s Amsterdam Falafel, Jumbo Slice or Ben’s Chili Bowl, there’s a lot to show off in and near Borderstan.
YPP_Collage

(Luis Gomez Photos)

Pro Tips

  • Old Town Alexandria – Gosh this place is perfect for visitors. There’s amazing food, cute one-of-a-kind shops and it’s great in all seasons.
  • Mount Vernon – DC residents all too often forget that our city’s namesake lived just down the road, accessible by car, bike or boat – ideal for a political/history nerd.
  • The National Arboretum – 8 out of 12 months of the year, pack up a picnic (or some Taylor Gourmet sandwiches to go) and head over to our nicest park. Take fun photos among the Capitol Building columns!
  • Great Falls – Too crunchy for typical tourist stuff? Great Falls National Park is a quick drive away, and even if your visitor isn’t up for a hike, you can get instragrams views of the falls without having to walk more than 100 yards from your car!
YPP_Collage2

(Luis Gomez Photos)

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by Borderstan.com September 19, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,272 0

"Borderstan" "Buffalo Billiards"

Buffalo Billiards on 19th Street NW, south of Dupont Circle. (Scott Leibowitz)

Lebodome is on vacation this week. The following column originally ran October 11, 2011.

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

This is now the third bar I have reviewed and I gotta say I am sorta getting the hang of this. I have had some great feedback from you guys, but feel there are lots of hidden gems of bars and places in our neighborhood I should stop by on game-day.

As long as there are TVs, draft beer, and football on, I am willing to check out anywhere. For this week thought I’d venture south and spend the day in Dupont Circle. Enjoy.

Buffalo Billiards, 1330 19th St NW

General Description:When you hear the term “sports bar”, this is definitely what you would have in mind. It’s got wall-to-wall televisions, tons of different great bar games, lots of space, and fairly standard bar drink and food. If your team makes it to a championship game, and you want to watch with your fellow fans, this is the place to do it.

Scott Leibowitz, Buffalo Billiards

Scott Leibowitz

Why I Went There: Convenience in Borderstan. This past Sunday was great weather and a walk through the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market made it quite easy to walk to the south part of the circle for football. I have also been here for a few college games and enjoyed some pretty loud and enthusiastic crowds.

Atmosphere: This is the very spacious and activity filled bar DC needs to be considered a decent sports bar city. First off it is quite large with tons of space, so if you are a group of 25 Cincinnati Bengals fans, there is plenty of room and an available TV. Every game is on somewhere, including the center of the room with a projector screen and six other HDTVs; frankly it’s a lot of stimulation.

Its other big plus is they have so many games and activities including; a dozen billiards tables, shuffle board, darts, ski-ball, foosball, buck-hunter, and that golf video game people like. If your team is getting blown out, chuck some darts. Got a friend or significant other who isn’t a big football fan, there are plenty of games to help their Sunday afternoon enjoyment. (My girlfriend is not like that; instead she blew me out in Fantasy Football this week.)

Food and Beverage: This bar blew their money out on their HDTV’s and tons of games. That said their beer and food menu is not an escape from any other bar in the area or the country. I’d even go as far to say the beer selection, besides Batch 19, was very average (Buds, Millers, Coors, etc.). Menu seemed fairly bar’ish but gotta say for a place this large, table service was nice.

Actual Game Viewing: Tons of space + tons of HDTV + friendly staff = anywhere you sit you can see your game.

Something a Female in My Party Noticed: This was a not just a bunch of dudes watching football. I’d say half the patrons were women, and not just dates, but game invested, wearing their team’s jerseys and cheering all game. This bar is for every fan, every gender.

Overall: If you want a sports viewing bar with tons of games and TVs, this is as good as it gets.  Besides that, not much else but an average bar

Total Pigskins:

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by Borderstan.com July 27, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.

"London Olympics"

Ready for the 2012 Olympics. (Luis Gomez Photos)

When is the last time you enjoyed Judo, para-sailing, and badminton? As it’s obviously not recently, we are all in luck as this Friday it is the start of the 2012 Olympics. It’s that time in the decade when these relatively less well known sports (some of them only played in high school gym class, i.e., handball) become interesting and people actually watch them.

For those of us feeling a little out of it due to the heat, the 2012 Summer Olympic games are beginning and thanks to great technology and NBC’s desire to cover it all, every single game/match/trial is available live from London either online or on the NBC family of networks.

The Best Part of the Olympics

What I always loved about the Olympics is that it seems to bring a lot of non-regular sports fans into the fold. The games are loaded with patriotism, rich stories of success and failure, and even a global orgy hangout. The Summer Olympics also tend to be a lot more popular as these sports are better known and don’t include some obscure skiing-rifle-shooting-hybrid. This is not to say the summer games don’t have their fair share of odd events, in the Equestrian category, for instance (if you ask me, the horses should be required to be from the country, just like the rider).

So, as you go through the next two weeks, glance at your newspaper and check the medal count, watch two people compete their hearts out for a 3rd place medal, or just guess the real age of the gymnasts.

What to Watch for at the Olympics

Here are some things to watch for, as well as some local ideas to enhance your Olympic experience.

Opening Ceremony: After China’s 2008 performance, the bar has been set pretty high. The show is directed by award winning director Danny Boyle and will include Sir Paul McCartney and, hopefully, a slew of awesome performers. It airs on NBC this Friday at 7 pm, but it will be a tape delay showing, so don’t check any social media, if you want to see/hear it fresh.

Are Phelps and Bolt still the best? Four years ago we watched a man-fish win 8 Gold Medals in swimming, and a speedster blow away the world records by not even trying that hard. Both U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt are back to retain their titles in respective fields. Both have looked a bit rusty and vulnerable. Track and swimming are always great at the Olympics, mainly because this is their biggest stage and these athletes want to show the world the best.

Pro Athletes Offseason: Soccer, basketball, tennis. These sports have fully functioning, popular, and well marketed professional leagues. All of them are taking time off and doing the world a favor by showing us their talent. Yes, it will be fun to see US basketball destroy the competition, but ultimately the Olympics is a 2nd-tier championship for these guys (World Cup > Olympic Gold). The part that I am looking forward to most is the tennis, as it’s being played at Wimbledon. But the all-white dress attire will not be in effect and that will give it a different feel.

Plenty of DC Bars to Enjoy the Olympics: NBC Washington did a list of Top 10 places to watch games at and some spots in our ‘hood made the list. Let me take this opportunity to double down on Buffalo Billiards, which made the list, as well as Nellie’s Sports Bar at 9th and U Streets NW. Think of all the screens and event-related ADD you could have. This is also a good opportunity to try some ethnic bars, root for a different nation, and maybe even learn some new anthems.

I am looking forward to a fun London-centric week with a healthy side of jokes made in my mediocre English accent. For a list of all the events, times, etc. check here. The Washington Post also has a great guide to the games. In general, wear some red/white/blue and enjoy the games!

Learn This Guy’s Name, NOW

ROBERT GRIFFEN III. This man is two months away from taking over the District.

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Google is about to change the world, again.
  • Olympics and politics don’t mix.
  • NASA is dying, slowly, and it hurts us all.
Finally, enjoy the Summer Olympics — they won’t be back until 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

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by Borderstan.com July 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm 1,347 0

"Bars"

Looking for a cool spot at a local sports bar?(Luis Gomez Photos)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.

Modern man has invented some remarkable products to better help us deal with one of the things we can’t control in life: the weather. Advance materials and ways of sewing have brought forth concepts like dry-fit for both hot and cold climates. While I enjoy that and many others, there is only one thing that brings me immense joy and comfort: central air conditioning. And in DC, can you imagine summers without AC?

I shudder to think of a world where people went from place to place, sweating everywhere with no relief except hoping it got dark or a storm would come. Honestly, we praise Henry Ford and Eli Whitney for innovations to the world, but why isn’t the man who invented AC a household name?

If you haven’t noticed the heat recently, maybe you’re a cactus. For the rest of us, it has literally been the hottest (worst) summer in DC ever on record, making doing just about anything outside awful. The idea of even walking to Bethesda Bagel on Connecticut Avenue over the weekend was a serious discussion of “Is there enough shade on the walk?” and “We need enough water for there and back.” One of the only ways to beat the heat (stupid Lebron) is to not go outside and enjoy your AC. It’s like having a car in DC. If you don’t have it, make friends with people who do and never leave their nicely cooled living rooms. I am fortunate enough to have mine cranking as you read this post, but I understand it is a luxury.

Get Out for a Beer and Watch Some Sports

We can’t stay inside forever (as much as we may want to) and sometimes you need a beer or a place to watch a sporting event. So here is just a handful of places in Borderstan with excellent air conditioning. They may not be as good as some other bars as sport watching venues, but if the aim is to stop sweating, stop in these places.

  • Buffalo Billiards: Tons of TVs, tons of space and always pumping AC. Also because it is underground it is not being blasted with rays of sun, which helps.
  • Nellie’s Sports Bar: Great sports bar with fully functioning 21st century central air. Also, there is the option of the outdoors with Nellie’s large rooftop deck — that is, if it is not 105 degrees.
  • Solly’s U St Tavern: Brick building insulates well and blocks heat. Also their AC and HDTVs are in fantastic working order.
  • Your Own Apartment: Stay home. No wait time, always a seat and you can control the temperature.

Beware of any places with large glass windows, huge patios and a constant swinging of the front door. Yes, atmosphere, drink selection and price are important for choosing a bar. But, this time of year only go to places with temperatures similar to a fridge.

In the Hopper

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

  • Inventor of the first “electronic‘ football game has passed away.
  • The History of Rock, in 100 cords. Worth watching all 12 minutes.
  • Cookie Monster’s version of “Call Me Maybe”.

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by Borderstan.com June 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,375 0

Borderstan welcomes new contributor Laetitia Brock. Email her at laetitia[AT]borderstan.com. You can follow her at @FrenchtwistDC and on her own  blog French twist DC.

"Soccer Fans"

DC soccer fans: Where will you watch the Euro 2012 tournament? (Laetitia Brock)

Yes, this weekend is Capital Pride and we’ll all be celebrating the unique heritage and history of the LGBT community here in D.C. but it’s also the first weekend of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. Soccer players are quite attractive and fit, so one really doesn’t have to exclude the other.

The Euro is all about a different kind of pride… European national pride. Pride in the beautiful sport. Pride in calling football “football” and not “soccer” and to know you belong to a small, misunderstood sports fans minority here in the U.S.

Every four years, we Europeans take pride in hating one another: all in good spirit, of course. Because of the time difference, most of the matches are shown in the middle of the day. Which is great on weekends when we all want an excuse to start drinking at noon. On weekdays, it’s a little trickier… though you can always sneak out for a “long lunch” and watch the games at the few bars and restaurants that will be showing them in the area.

Veranda. If you’ve made the connection that the exterior of Veranda pretty much matches the Greek flag, you won’t be surprised to hear that the Logan Circle restaurant is throwing its weight behind the troubled Galanolefki. Poor Greece (and I for once I don’t mean bailout poor) has the tricky task of playing Poland, one of the host nations, in the opening game of the tournament. Not fun. So, take a long lunch break (or the afternoon off, I mean it IS Friday, after all) and come watch the match at noon on Veranda’s big HD screens. Then come back the next day, there’ll be a lamb on a spit. And soccer too. Though the football will be done by the time the lamb is ready (6ish).

James Hoban’s Irish Restaurant and Bar. The boys in green rarely get to go to international tournaments (sometimes because of a French hand and a bad call from a referee) and this is only their second time ever qualifying for a Euro Cup. They’re in a tough qualifying group that includes reigning world cup champions Spain, four-time world cup winners Italy and Croatia, which is ranked 8th in the world. But who doesn’t love an underdog? And Guinness! Both Irish pubs are showing all tournament matches live but I think the Irish game would be particularly great to watch there, with $4 Heineken and $5 Guinness specials.

Duffy’s Irish Pub. Duffy’s would be a great place to watch the Ireland games too, except they’re only showing the weekend games. They will have $3 Tall Boys of PBR available, but since their kitchen only opens at 5 pm (and the games are either at noon or 2:45) you can actually bring your own food or order delivery from one of the many nearby spots. Potluck anyone?

Barcode. Duffy’s is only showing weekend games? Well, Barcode on the other hand is only showing the weekday matches…

Local 16. Is showing all of the weekend games on their outdoor screens during brunch. Always a great place to enjoy the food and drinks.

Lucky Bar. Lucky Bar is always one of the better spot to watch the beautiful sport. On weekends, and maybe even during the week, it will fill up really quickly, so I recommend you show early, or even call ahead and book a table.

Public BarIf you can make it up the stairs, Public Bar across the street offers $3 Peronis during the games, which is bound to attract supporters of the Azzurri. Italy-Spain should be a great game (Sunday, June 10 at noon) but be careful with those Peronis. You’ll have to make it down those stairs eventually…

Buffalo Billiards DC . Showing all the games live with $3.50 Heineken drafts and $3.50 Newcastle drafts specials.

Ventnor Sports Cafe. While they ask patrons to kindly leave their vuvuzelas at home, Ventnor will be opening up early for lunch everyday to screen the Euro Cup matches. Most of the games will be aired on ESPN and I’ve found that if you ask nicely and there’s no other big sporting event going on, restaurants with a television are not opposed to switching the channel for you (thanks Commissary and Stoney’s!). Though that doesn’t seem to include Estadio, who told me they only show “classic” soccer matches on their television sets… A final option for die-hard soccer fans is to hop on a plane to the Ukraine. According to this Washington Post article, there are still some tickets left for some of the games.

The UEFA Euro 2012 starts Friday, June 9 at noon and ends July 1. We’ll update the post once the teams have been narrowed down to the eight quater finalists. In the meantime, you can find a complete schedule of matches on the tournament’s website. May the odds ever be in your team’s favor!

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by Borderstan.com October 11, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,486 0

"Borderstan" "Buffalo Billiards"

Buffalo Billiards on 19th Street NW south of Dupont Circle. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at [email protected].

This is now the third bar I have reviewed and I gotta say I am sorta getting the hang of this. I have had some great feedback from you guys, but feel there are lots of hidden gems of bars and places in our neighborhood I should stop by on game-day.

As long as there are TVs, draft beer, and football on, I am willing to check out anywhere. For this week thought I’d venture south and spend the day in Dupont Circle. Enjoy.

Buffalo Billiards, 1330 19th St NW

General Description:When you hear the term “sports bar”, this is definitely what you would have mind. It’s got wall-to-wall televisions, tons of different great bar games, lots of space, and fairly standard bar drink and food. If your team makes it to a championship game, and you want to watch with your fellow fans, this is the place to do it.

Scott Leibowitz, Buffalo Billiards

Scott Leibowitz

Why I Went There: Convenience in Borderstan. This past Sunday was great weather and a walk through the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market made it quite easy to walk to the south part of the circle for football. I have also been here for a few college games and enjoyed some pretty loud and enthusiastic crowds.

Atmosphere: This is the very spacious and activity filled bar DC needs to be considered a decent sports bar city. First off it is quite large with tons of space, so if you are a group of 25 Cincinnati Bengals fans, there is plenty of room and an available TV. Every game is on somewhere, including the center of the room with a projector screen and six other HDTVs; frankly it’s a lot of stimulation.

Its other big plus is they have so many games and activities including; a dozen billiards tables, shuffle board, darts, ski-ball, foosball, buck-hunter, and that golf video game people like. If your team is getting blown out, chuck some darts. Got a friend or significant other who isn’t a big football fan, there are plenty of games to help their Sunday afternoon enjoyment. (My girlfriend is not like that; instead she blew me out in Fantasy Football this week.)

Food and Beverage: This bar blew their money out on their HDTV’s and tons of games. That said their beer and food menu is not an escape from any other bar in the area or the country. I’d even go as far to say the beer selection, besides Batch 19, was very average (Buds, Millers, Coors, etc.). Menu seemed fairly bar’ish but gotta say for a place this large, table service was nice.

Actual Game Viewing: Tons of space + tons of HDTV + friendly staff = anywhere you sit you can see your game.

Something a Female in My Party Noticed: This was a not just a bunch of dudes watching football. I’d say half the patrons were women, and not just dates, but game invested, wearing their team’s jerseys and cheering all game. This bar is for every fan, every gender.

Overall: If you want a sports viewing bar with tons of games and TVs, this is as good as it gets.  Besides that, not much else but an average bar

Total Pigskins:

   Links! Links! Ice Cold Links

  •     With the Occupy Wall St (also DC), Ben&Jerry’s steps up.
  •     Attention basketball junkies: Forget the NBA, enjoy this documentary on high school ball.
  •     Why is college football so inferior to the NFL? Stuff like this. What a dumb rule.
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